Saturday, January 1, 2011

Meal Plan 1/3/11 - 1/19/11

Monday: Thai chicken curry with rice noodles
Tuesday: Buffalo chicken chili
Wednesday: Pasta with turkey Italian sausage and sauce
Thursday: Taco salad
Friday: Ham and bean soup
Saturday: Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and peas (celebrating Christmas with my parents)
Sunday: Chicken caesar salads

Happy New Year!

2011. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that 2010 is over. Wow, it went fast. This time last year my Mr. Man and Little Miss were not talking or walking, respectively. Now they are all over the place, and constantly crack me up with their chatter. It was an interesting year, and I'm looking forward to what 2011 will bring.

I've given a lot of thought to my resolutions/goals for this new year, and I am making an effort to be very specific this year. Yes, I'd like to "lose 10 pounds", but I need metrics. Ha - can you tell I am a CPA? So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2011:

Exercise: I will take the kids and dog for a 1 to 3 mile walk 3 days a week, weather permitting. In January I will work out to Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred 20 times in 31 days. In February I will start the Couch to 5K program, and continue weights 2 days a week. From there, I will determine a specific exercise goal for each month.

House: I have developed a house cleaning schedule, and I will keep to it. It is embarrassingly basic for January, but I need to start with baby steps. As I get into a routine, I will add to my daily/weekly/monthly tasks with each month.

Meal Planning: I will do this consistently, planning a basic monthly schedule, and a specific weekly schedule.

Spending: I will actually develop a budget, and track my spending. I did not start couponing until September 2010, when we refinanced our house. While the savings will be worth it in the long run, the short term hit from our horrible appraisal made us focus on rebuilding our savings.

I also need to limit my time online. I will only go online during naptimes, unless I need to check a schedule or directions for something we plan to attend. I will turn my computer off at 9:30pm and be in bed by 10:30pm. I stay up far too late, and the twins get up far too early. I need to develop healthy sleep habits!

And finally, I need to devote more time to projects. I have hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures that need a place in photo albums. I want to make curtains for my family room. And since Mr. Man has learned how to climb in and out of his crib, I need to make toddler bedding for their newly converted toddler beds. It would be easier to buy these, I know, but I just don't like anything I can find in stores, and I know I could make anything that I would have to special order.

This seems like a tall order, but I do have it broken down into reasonable steps. I have a weekly calendar that I have filled out with my exercise, house, and other goals, as well as the meal plan, and it does not overwhelm me. I think this is going to be a great year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Glade Candle Score

Things have been busy here this week. We had guests over the weekend, a company holiday party to attend, and then a quick trip out of town for a conference my husband had to attend. I did get a couple of good deals at Rite Aid. Wonderful Pistachio's are on sale for 4.88 - 1.00 coupon - 2.00 UPs. $1.88 a bag? I'll take 4, please.

I took the kids to get their pictures with Santa while we were out of town. My county does not have a mall, so we don't have a Santa unless you attend special events. The next county over does have a mall, but the set up for Santa is a little weak. I'll confess, I went along with my husband just to go to the mall! The kids did as well as you could expect 2 year olds to do. While we were in line, my son kept saying: "Santa! Yay!" and my daughter: "Santa! Presents! Baby Dolly!", and they kept staring and pointing at Santa. They were so excited! Until we actually got up to Santa, and then they completely freaked out. It's a cute picture, but they are not happy!

Now for the Glade deal. Target is running a sale on Glade Winter items where they are $2.50 each, and you get a $5.00 gift card when you buy 5. I finally found the elusive tear-pad of coupons for $3.00/3 Glade Winter items. And I still had the $5.00 Target gift card from the Starbucks coffee I bought last week.

This is what I bought for $12.48 + tax:

Transaction 1:
25.00 10 glade items @ 2.50 each
5.98 2 Air Wick candles @ 2.99 each
1.27 1 bottle of Target baby shampoo

- 10.00 Glade coupons (3 x $3.00/3 and 1 x $1.00/1 glade spray)
- 6.00 Air Wick coupons (2 x $3.00/1)
-.05 Store coupon. I'm not sure how this was entered, but I'll take it.

Total: $16.20 - $5.00 gift card = $11.20 + tax. And I received 2 $5.00 gift cards.

Transaction 2:
9.98 2 Hickory Farms turkey summer sausage
3.30 2 Kandoo toddler wipes @ 1.65 each

- 2.00 Kandoo coupons (2 x $1.00/1)

Total: $11.28 - $10.00 gift cards earned above = $1.28 + tax

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Made This!

I made this cute little cosmetic bag tonight. I could have done a much better job with the corners of the zipper, but overall I'm really happy with it!

I have guests coming tomorrow, and I should be cleaning my house. But sometimes you just have to let stuff slide and do something fun. I'm giving these as Christmas gifts to my sisters and mom, so I needed to practice. I think I've worked out the kinks, so the next one should be better. I followed this tutorial:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping the Sanity

This was one of my hardest days as a stay at home mom. Thank God for unfinished basements. My kids are running around in circles with their push toys, and nobody is crying or screaming. Bonus points for an easy bedtime. These kids are going to sleep well tonight!

Two Year Olds

My daughter, F, was very excited about Story Time today. All she did from the time she woke up was cry about wanting to go to the library. Until it was time to leave. Then she threw the mother of all screaming, kicking, crying, dragging, whining, don't-dress-me, don't-put-me-in-the-car, scream for the entire 30 minute drive kind of meltdown that only a 2 year old can throw. If my son, L, hadn't been such a good boy today, and if he didn't also enjoy story time, then we would have just stayed home, and she would have spent the day in lockdown in her crib.

I am exhausted. Fortunately, she was perfectly fine as soon as we got there. And she was great for our subsequent shopping trips. But oh my God. Yep, she's definitely two.

Rite Aid, Take 3

Ok, so I just took my third trip to Rite Aid this week. When I first saw the flier, I didn't think there was much to get excited about. Um, wrong.

Yesterday I did 1 FSA transaction, and 1 regular one. I have some FSA money to use before the end of the year, and this seems like a smart way to do it. I can stock up on cold meds, get some UPRs back, and qualify for the Gift of Savings, all at the same time.

FSA transaction: 1 Sinex Nyquil, 1 Dayquil, 2 Vicks Baby Vapor Rubs, 1 Puffs Tissue, and 2 large bags of Halls. I used 1 $1.00/2 Halls coupon, 1 $4.00 Sinex Coupon, 1 $1.50 Vicks Coupon, a $1.00 Vicks Coupon, and a Free Puffs with 2 Vicks coupon. My total after coupons was $17.46, and I earned $4.00 UPRs

Non FSA transaction: 2 Bic pencils, 2 Lysol multi purpose sprays (BOGO), 2 Splenda packets with fiber, 2 Dawn dish soaps, 1 Olay body wash, 1 Olay body lotion, and 1 package of snacks for the kids. I used these coupons: 1 x 1.00/2 Lysol sprays, 2 x $2.00 Splenda with Fiber, 1 x $1.00/2 Dawn, 1 x Buy Olay BW, get lotion free. Total after coupons and UPRs was $1.20, and I earned $5.00 UPRs.

So, today. Today is Story Time at one of our Libraries, which is very close to both a CVS and a Rite Aid. As I was going through our local paper (which only comes out on Wednesday and Friday), I found a P&G coupon insert. BONUS! Now I have 2 BOGO Pantene coupons, and 2 Dawn coupons. This changes how I feel about the P&G deal at CVS this week. And since I'm going to CVS, I should hit Rite Aid, too. So I printed 2 BIC coupons for $1.00/2 and a Video Values coupon for $5.00/2 Foamies, which are on sale this week.

FSA transaction: 2 Dayquil, 2 Nyquil, 1 Puffs. Coupons: 2 x $1.50 Dayquil, 2 x $1.50 Nyquil, 1 Free Puffs with 2 Vicks. Total spent: $10.06, with $4.00 UPRs received.

Other transaction: 2 Foamies (BOGO 50%), 2 Crayola crayons (BOGO 50%), 4 packs of BIC pens. Coupons: $5.00/2 Foamies, 2 x $1.00/2 BIC. Total after coupons and UPRs: $2.62, with $6.00 UPRs earned.

And CVS: 4 Dawn dish soap, 2 Pantene shampoo, 2 Pantene conditioner, 1 Duracell AA 10 pack, and a 1/2 gallon of milk because the kids were thirsty and I forgot to pack milk for our trip today. The P&G deal is $5 ECB when you spend $20 on various items including Pantene, Dawn, and Duracell. I used 2 x BOGO Pantene (worth $3.33 each), 1 x 1.50 Duracell, and 2 x 1.00/2 Dawn. My total after coupons and ECBs was $1.66, and I earned $5.00 ECB. The $13.32 in Pantene will go towards the current Olay rebate (spend $50, get $20 cash back). And my husband prefers Pantene, so this will keep him in shampoo for a couple of months.